Biz Buzz: Dubuque child care center celebrates 25 years; coffee shop now open; $2 million expansion at manufacturer

Business tips sought

Do you have an interesting story or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at or 563-588-5673. 

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Maquoketa, Iowa.

A Dubuque child care center run by a local family has celebrated a milestone anniversary.

Young-Uns Preschool and Childcare Center, 3375 Kennedy Circle, recently marked 25 years serving local families.

“I absolutely love to have conversations with families coming in and out of our doors,” said Barb Weber, a co-director of the center with her sister Deb McDonnell. “I definitely love the daily contact with the community and watching kids grow.”

Weber said the center started as a small house on Kaufmann Avenue purchased in 1997 by her parents, Lenny and Mags Young. The center was licensed to care for 43 children.

“There was quite a need for child care in Dubuque at that time,” Weber said. “Our parents approached us and asked if we would want to purchase a second house.”

The second location on West 32nd Street opened in 2000 amid even more need for care.

“It’s always been our goal to meet as many family needs as possible,” Weber said. “We recognized a large need for child care, and that was really prevalent in 2000 when we opened our second location. If we hadn’t opened that second location, families would have had nowhere to go.”

In 2007, the current Young-uns location was built. Weber noted that the current property used to be the site of her father’s family farm that was sold long ago.

Now, Weber said Young-Uns serves children from birth to age 12. The center is licensed for 237 kids at one time, but about 300 come through the doors per day. The center also offers a before- and after-school program and preschool services.

Even though 25 years have passed, the need for local child care persists. Weber said the center gets two or three calls per day from families looking for care.

“Even though we’re trying to help the need and make available space, there’s such a large need in Dubuque,” she said.

Young-Uns Preschool and Childcare Center can be reached at 563-584-0845. The center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

New coffee spot opens in Maquoketa as drive-thru only

A national coffee chain opened a new location in Maquoketa.

Scooter’s Coffee opened a drive-thru-only location on Monday at 901 W. Platt St. Jason Huff, one of the location’s owners, said the new spot has been in the works for eight to 10 months, and construction started in mid-December.

“Scooter’s is found in a lot of towns like this in its population size, and they’ve had great success in them,” Huff said. “We’re really excited about the community of Maquoketa. We’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people, and it seems like people are excited we are there.”

Scooter’s Coffee was founded in 1998 and is approaching 400 locations in the U.S., according to the chain’s website.

The Maquoketa location will offer the chain’s wide variety of drinks. Huff said those who are not fans of coffee also can purchase other specialty drinks, such as smoothies and Red Bull infusions.

There also are options for food, such as breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos and an assortment of pastries.

Huff said he built 30 to 40 Scooter’s Coffee locations in Iowa as a contractor before deciding to start opening locations of his own. Maquoketa is the first location he is opening, and two more are planned near the Chicago area.

“They’re building these in towns everywhere,” he said. “The community really falls in love with this concept and the products.”

Hours at the Maquoketa Scooter’s Coffee location are 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Dubuque manufacturing company working on $2 million expansion

A Dubuque manufacturing company is working on an about $2 million expansion.

TriState Quality Metals, 651 Seippel Road, recently broke ground on a project to expand its facility, according to Vice President Zach Wilming. The project will increase the building from 44,000 to 75,000 square feet.

“We’re going to be adding a couple of robotic systems, as well as machinery like a laser,” Wilming said. “We’re just looking to invest in new machinery and equipment and just become more efficient to our customers and go from there.”

This marks the second major expansion that TriState Quality Metals has undergone since the company was established in 2010.

The business is self-described as a “metal fabrication job shop” with 35 to 40 employees.

For the first five years, TriState Quality Metals was located in Peosta, Iowa, in a 10,000-square-foot facility.

“It got to a point where we outgrew the property in Peosta,” Wilming said. “We made the move to Dubuque (in 2015) to get closer to the customers and fill our capacity needs.”

He said the plans for the expansion to the Dubuque property have been in the works for a couple of years, but the COVID-19 pandemic set plans back. The project should be complete within the next few months.

“We probably will be adding some jobs, too,” he added.

Wilming said the expansion comes as TriState Quality Metals has seen an increase in demand for its products, and growing the company can further meet those needs.

“It means a lot to us,” he said. “Sheet metal manufacturing is really all we know. We’re excited to keep growing.”

TriState Quality Metals can be reached at 563-582-7400. Office hours are from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays.